The short visit to Hong Kong came to an end, as Swami and His entourage were to fly to the next destination Singapore, in the afternoon. After breakfast, Swami came out to the living room and spoke for a while before Mangala Arati was offered. He reiterated about the inseparable relationship between God and His devotees. A visit to Lantau Island to see the Tian Tan Buddha, the world’s largest sitting Buddha was planned before reaching the Airport. Swami spoke about the life of Buddha, and said that Buddha was not born a Saint, but was born as a Prince. “He had all the luxuries and comforts of the world. But something in his heart kept saying that this was not everything. He had a very sensitive nature and his restlessness led to his quest for truth. He had no Guru or guide, but this inner quest was repeating itself. No one could help Buddha with answers. So he sat under a tree, closed his eyes and made an earnest attempt to seek the answers for all the questions. He developed a sense of detachment when he realised the truth.” Swami urged everyone to lead a detached life, with the sense that all belongs to God!
Mr Raja and Mrs Shalini Daswani, along with few others devotees proceeded to Lantau Island to see the big Buddha. After a wonderful lunch at the Po Lin Monastery, the entourage proceeded to the Airport to board their flight to Singapore. Upon arrival at night, everyone were welcomed by the Singapore team. Swami proceeded to the residence of Dr Pillay, and after blessing the family rested for the night.
The next morning, March 15, after breakfast Swami proceeded to the office of Brother Kishore Parikh, and blessed the entire team with His precious advise. Swami thereafter returned to the Pillay residence for lunch. Sai Anandam, the Ashram in Singapore which is right next to the Pillay residence was buzzing was final preparations for the evening public Satsang.
There is also excitement before a public Satsang, as devotees throng to bask in Swami’s love. Over 400 people had gathered at Sai Anandam at 4:30 p.m. Swami arrived in the midst of Bhajans at 5 p.m. Brother Kabilan Pillay welcomed the gathering and gave a brief outline about the various Seva activities which are being done in Singapore. Urging all to join hands, he invited Brother Anand Kadali to speak. Brother Anand traced the journey of the Annapoorna breakfast programme, and vividly recalled a few experiences.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy started by congratulating Brother Anand for the bold step he had taken, to quit his promising career with a software giant and join Bhagawan’s mission full time. Sri Narasimha Murthy said, “Only by sacrifice, we attain immortality, not by anything else. Once very foolishly about thirty years before when Swami was in Brindavan, I asked Swami, ‘Swami, will all the people who are very close to You now get Moksha?” Naturally I was curious about myself. Swami said, “Look Narasimha Murthy, there are many cockroaches and mosquitoes in My room. Will all of them get Moksha or liberation?” He asked. So, just because we stand close to Baba, sit close to Baba, listen to His discourses, we are not going to get liberation. We have to transform ourselves. And sacrifice of selfishness is the greatest sacrifice. Sacrificing anything is possible. But sacrificing one’s own ego, desires, attachments, selfishness – that is the great sacrifice.”
Swami in His discourse also stressed about the importance of sacrifice and said that it is only when one turns one’s gaze inwards and finds that infinite joy that already lies within, that is when there would be an end to all kinds of desires and miseries. “Man will be liberated from the cycle of birth and death into the infinite immortality. Scriptures declare ‘It is only through the sacrifice that can one attain immortality.’ And what is this sacrifice? It is the sacrifice of this external vision Bahiranga Drishti and turn it to Antaranga Drishti to turn it inward as the inward vision. It is only then you can give up all that which drives you to pursue these paltry pleasures, and turn within to taste the nectarine bliss of Divinity that exists over there. Therefore, these Satsangs cannot be just a discussion of ideas, exchange of words but these have to be translated into tangible actions, actions that transform each person and in the process, benefit everyone else around.”
After a few Questions and Answers, Mangala Arati was offered to Swami. Thereafter, He blessed a few families with interviews and then retired after dinner.
NATIONAL TEACHERS’ CONFERENCE
Satya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli, Chikkaballapur District, Karnataka
May 25-27, 2018
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
The organizing team of National Teachers’ Conference 2018 would like to extend our warm and loving welcome to all the delegates. We are glad to update you all regarding the various arrangements made for all the delegates.
1. How do I get to Muddenahalli?
Muddenahalli is located approximately 60 kms from Bangalore. Participants can choose to use the following travel options to reach Muddenahalli:
- There are buses that regularly ply between Bangalore and the town of Chikkaballapur.
Auto-rickshaws are available on hire from Chikkaballapur to Muddenahalli.
- Those flying to Bangalore can avail the taxi/cab services available at the Airport, for a
drop to Muddenahalli.
- Taxis/Cabs can be hired from Bangalore to Muddenahalli.
2. What costs do I need to bear for registration, food and accommodation?
The conference is completely free of cost in terms of registration, food and accommodation. Please plan for travel and personal expenses only.
All the delegates would be provided accommodation inside the Ashram from 24th-28th May 2018.
3. Is there a store for basic necessities?
Yes, there is a store for basic necessities. However, we encourage delegates to carry all that may be required.
4. Is there an ATM inside the Ashram?
No. We request you to carry sufficient cash for personal expenses for the duration of the stay.
5. Is there Internet and network connectivity?
There is no or negligible connectivity as the network is very poor in the vicinity. Hence inform your parents, friends, and family in advance of the same.
6. What should I bring as a Delegate?
The delegate should bring the following items:
- Clothes for a minimum of 4 days. We can expect rains during that time of the year, hence please pack some additional clothes.
- Food supplements, if any.
- Medicines, as required.
- Locks to ensure your bags are locked at all times, especially during sessions.
- Minimum amount of money for personal expenses.
- Dormitory-like accommodation will be provided, that includes a mattress, bedsheet and pillow.
7. Is there a medical facility in the Ashram?
Yes, there is a basic medical facility with doctors on call in the Ashram premises. However, we encourage you to carry any regular medicines that you might require.
8. What are the food cuisines available?
There is a Canteen that serves mainly South Indian food. If you have specific diet supplements, we request you to carry them along for the duration of stay at Muddenahalli.
9. Is there a general code of conduct for the conference?
The venue for the conference is Sathya Sai Grama. It is important to note the venue is essentially an Ashram. As you might expect, there are certain Ashram guidelines and policy that you should be aware of, so you may comply during your stay at the conference. Some of the guidelines are laid down below for your ready reference:
a) Dress Code: Delegates are expected to dress conservatively. Men can wear light-coloured shirts and trousers, typically white. Avoid jeans and T-shirts, with bright colours. Women may wear Sarees or salwar kameez and dupatta or shawl. Black coloured dresses can avoided. Sleeveless blouses or kameez will not be allowed & kindly ensure the dupatta or shawl is not transparent. No walking around within the premises wearing trousers or t-shirts during spare time.
b) Gender Segregation: In line with the Ashram policy, Men and Women will have limited or no scope for interaction with each other. They will have physically separated seating during the sessions. Further, they will be provided separate accommodation, and dining areas. Delegates are requested to adhere to this policy and avoid any interaction.
c) Cell Phone Usage: While you may bring your cell phone into the Ashram, you will not be permitted to enter the venue with your cell phone. You can make calls or send messages before or after the sessions. During conference sessions, you may keep your cell phone either at your accommodation area or the cloak room located outside the main venue.
Children are the Future of our Nation. It is our responsibility to give them an equitable opportunity to grow into healthy, happy adults. And, it is time for us to come together as One TEAM.
We request participants to to register from the afternoon of May 24, 2018.
We hope that you will find these sessions valuable, and wish you a fruitful and pleasant time!
National Teachers’ Conference 2018
Anand Kadali – +91 9901 999 196
Prashanti Goswami- +91 9886 449 825
Hong Kong is a city full of dreams, a city full of vibrancy and bustling life. And this was Swami’s ‘first visit’ to this city. After a traditional Sindhi and South Indian breakfast at the Daswani residence, close family and a few friends gathered to experience their Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for the very first time in the subtle. Initially it was evident that they didn’t know what to expect, but they had come with open hearts, leaving their mind aside. Like Swami says, the heart knows!
Bhajans began, and Swami came out of His room and took His seat in the living room of the Daswani residence. Swami then started talking in the most casual way to each person gathered. Looking at a young lawyer, Swami said there are two courts which exist – the court of love and court of law. Love does not know any law. Law does not know any love. But in God’s court, only love exists. “If you have love, everything is taken care.” He urged the young lawyer to deal every case he gets only with love, and as far as possible to settle it out of court, in the court of Love. It indeed struck a deep chord with the youngster which inspired him a lot.
Swami then said, “How can you be happy all the time. Only faith in God can keep you happy all the time. No situation can be so bad that it can go out of control. Happy and bad times are given by God. During bad times you must realise that God has already reduced the suffering, and is only giving you a dose which is tolerable to you! It’s like wearing shoes; wherever you are walking thorns or stones will not harm you. Everyone cannot be assured of success all the time. You have to understand and tell yourself, ‘This is the best that can happen to me.’
Parikshit was to die in seven days. He was happy all the time. People around him were surprised and asked him why he was happy, when he was going to die in a week. Parikshit replied, ‘You are all unfortunate as you don’t know when you are going to die. Since I know, I am contemplating on God all the time.’ First step is to have faith in God and think whatever happens is for the best.”
Swami then asked Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to address the gathering, and he reiterated what Swami had just said about how God rules with love. Explaining this aspect through a couple of stories, he concluded by saying that God is always full of mercy, irrespective of what man does.
It was a very causal interaction with all present, as Swami was revealing many aspects of their life. He urged those gathered to ask questions. One devotee asked how to escape the cycle of birth and death. In reply, Swami spoke in brief about the law of Karma and the law of Incarnation which are inter related. “The results of action will be experienced in this birth or in the next birth, but one cannot escape the same. Whether you do good bad, when you return you will reap the consequences of that action, good or bad. The only way to escape the cycle of birth and death is to escape the cycle of Karma. But how can you escape this cycle? The easiest way is to think that you are NOT the doer, but only an instrument. A thief uses a knife to kill and a surgeon may use the same knife to save a life. The knife is not accumulating any Karma. So always think you are just an instrument of God, and offer your actions with all humility and surrender to Him!”
It was a wonderful and intimate morning for the 30 odd devotees who were present, and of course by the end of the morning session there was no doubt that each one of them had indeed experienced for themselves the presence of Bhagawan. Lunch Prasadam was served to everyone thereafter.
In the evening, a Satsang was organised at a venue, 15 minutes away from the Daswani residence. Close to 180 people had gathered from Hong Kong, and other countries including Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Macau. Swami entered amidst Bhajans, and Brother Vishal Daswani, son of Mr Raja and Mrs Shalini Daswani welcomed Bhagawan and His entourage. He spoke about how his heart had taken over his mind for him to be able to realise that Swami was indeed amidst all of them.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy continued on the same lines, when he started with a quote of Rumi which said, “The head shall not hear anything until the heart has listened.” He went on say, “This is why all living Masters who came into this world said the Kingdom of God is within. What do we do when we go to temples? We close our eyes and fold our palms. What it ultimately means is that our heart urges us to find God inside our heart and not outside. All divine Masters taught the same thing.” Sri Narasimha Murthy went on to talk about the six phases of sixteen years each of Swami’s life – Leelas, Mahimas, Upadeshas, Vidya, Vaidya and Upadeshas – which Swami Himself had revealed starting in 1926 till 2022. The last being establishment of Sanathana Dharma or Divine Dharma, between 2006 and 2022 which is what is going on right now albeit in a most mysterious way!
Swami in His divine discourse started with a prayer ‘Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah, Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu, Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet’, which means Let everyone be happy. Let all be healthy. Let everybody see auspiciousness and good everywhere. Let no body have any sorrow or misery.
This is the ancient path of mankind. A path that teaches us to pray for everyone’s welfare and not just for us. It teaches to think beyond our selfish ways for the rest of humanity. This is the glory and beauty of Sanathana Dharma. A Dharma that believes in the good and happiness of every one and not just for themselves.
One may ask a question, ‘It is easy to pray for oneself or friends or relatives…but how should we bring ourselves to sincerely pray for the welfare of everyone?’ That’s where the answer comes from Sanathana Dharma, which looks beyond the physical aspect, and looks at the fundamental aspect of Atman in everyone, as internally all are made of the same Self.
The way to live in this world is to understand that we are playing a part, and we have to respect and care for each other. Sanathana Dharma is founded on the truth of Atman. We have forgotten who we really are, as each one is busy enacting the role they have adorned – businessmen, doctors, lawyers, etc. Body is a costume which the Atma wears, and just like clothes becomes old, Atman accepts another body when it becomes old. This is the wealth of truth you must aspire to accquire. So who is the richest in the eyes of God, whoever has the richness of wisdom, and the contentment born out of the understanding of this truth.” After a short Question and Answers session, Mangala Arati was offered and Dinner Prasadam was served to all. Swami returned to the Daswani residence for dinner, and rested for the night.
It was an exciting morning, as Swami was going to visit one of the most holiest Shinto shrines in the region. The Yahiko Shrine stands majestically at the foothills of the sacred Mount Yahiko in the lap of magnanimous Mother Nature. People from all over Japan flock to the Shrine. The Hotel where Swami and the entourage were staying was barely 50 meters away from the Shrine, and Swami decided to walk to the Shrine. It’s commanding presence was extremely overwhelming, and yet there was a certain serenity about the whole place. The large vermilion Torii gate soaring 30m high, the Japanese cedar trees with remnants of fresh snow on either side of the path leading to the shrine, the snow capped mountains and the blue sky in the background, the entire setting was magnificent and magical! And to top it all, walking with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Creator Himself! Swami made a few revelations about the Shrine, and blessed the multitudes of devotees who had gathered there to be in the presence of their Master.
From the Yahiko Shrine, Swami proceeded to ‘Sai Hrudayam’ a Bhajan Centre which was about 20 minutes away. After a few Bhajans, Swami spoke about the importance of chanting the name of the Lord. “Whoever is in need of help, will receive the prayers. So keep changing the name of the Lord. The more you chant, the more it will benefit the world. Everything is vibrations, so whatever you chant, the sound waves will reach any part of the world. This is the minimum Seva you can do, which will benefit the world!”
Mangala Arati was offered and Prasadam was distributed to all. Swami then departed from ‘Sai Hrudayam’, and proceeded to another holy Shrine established by a 90-year-old lady, who has been blessed with hearing the voice of God. She has multitudes of followers, and the Deity who speaks to her had told her about Swami, and she wanted the Lord Himself to bless the place. Over 150 devotees were eagerly waiting, and as soon as Swami entered, the lady dressed in a traditional Shinto costume was overwhelmed. Swami immediately gave her a gift of His love, and blessed her profusely. He then commanded Brother Nimura to talk about the Shrine and the old lady, whose words gave way to tears! He narrated his experiences about what the old lady had told him about the upcoming Ashram as she heard it from the deity, which absolutely matched what Swami had told him during an interview during Maha Shivaratri, word to word! Swami then blessed the lady and promised to return when the Ashram is ready. Lunch was served to Swami and His entourage as soon as they returned to the hotel thereafter. After a brief rest, everyone proceeded for dinner to the residence of Brother Nimura.
All the ladies of Brother Nimura’s family including his two grand daughters who were around ten years old, were dressed in traditional kimonos. Swami emphasised why helping others is important at the intimate gathering. He said, “By speaking sweetly, or by sharing what we have in excess, we can help. Why help? It’s like a deposit into the bank account of God. You get interest, and when retire you can withdraw. Likewise, when you help others, in your time of need God will give you grace. In the world, like day and night, success and failure will come and go. So keep doing good always. As a family, as an individual, do good everyday.” Swami was then served dinner which began with the traditional tea ceremony. Dinner was a combination of traditional Japanese and traditional South Indian dishes! Swami departed the residence after Mangala Arati. The entourage returned to the hotel as well, and packed to depart to the next destination Hong Kong the next morning, March 12.
After breakfast, Swami blessed the core team of Japan with an interview and gave them directions about the Ashram. Mangala Arati was offered and then everyone proceeded to the Niigata Airport to board their flight to Hong Kong via Tokyo. They landed at around 10 p.m. at night, and were lovingly received at the Airport by Brother Raja Daswani and his family. A 30-minutes drive through this bustling and lively city, Swami reached the Daswani residence where He was very lovingly received by Mrs Shalini Daswani and a few other devotees. Since it was close to midnight, Swami urged everyone to rest for the night.
Niigata lies on the northwest coast of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, and faces the Sea of Japan. It is the capital and the most populous city of Niigata Prefecture, Japan. It is also said to be one of the most holiest and ancient parts of Japan. No wonder this holy land was picked by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to build an Ashram, as part of the 17 Ashrams which will serve as spiritual light houses around the world.
Swami’s entourage which also included two young Engineering students from the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence departed Bangalore on Thursday, March 08 in the morning. With an overnight transit at Singapore, the entourage reached Tokyo the next afternoon Friday, March 09 at 2 p.m. After a short transit, they departed for Niigata, and landed at 6:30 p.m. The Japanese team led by Brother Genzo Makino along with his group of energetic youth and devotees welcomed everyone. The temperature was about two degrees, and quickly the entourage made themselves warm and comfortable with the winter gear. It had snowed the previous day, and as the convoy of cars and vans left the airport, either side of the roads were dotted with snow.
Upon reaching the Hotel, where Swami’s room was also arranged, traditional South Indian dinner awaited everyone lovingly cooked by three ladies from Singapore, Mrs Shyamini Pillay, Mrs Aparna Sivaramakrishnan and Mrs Karen Tan, who had specially flown to Niigata a couple of days earlier. From pots, pans to all the ingredients, they had brought every single item from Singapore like they do every single year! Like Swami says, this is their Seva, their Sadhana to experience and be with the Lord. But before dinner, Swami met the local authorities who were overwhelmed to learn about the ongoing mission and personal revelations which Swami made. They pledged their complete support to the cause and the upcoming Ashram. Dinner was served to Swami and the entourage, after which everyone retired for the night.
The next morning, Saturday March 10 was a red lettered day for the Sai devotees of Japan, as it was the blessed day for the Bhoomi Puja of the upcoming Ashram, the reason for Swami’s Visit to Japan this year. Driving through snow covered roads, Swami and His entourage reached the land. Just as the Lord arrived, there was a light shower of snow which looked magical as He alighted from the car! The priest had flown in from Chennai, and the Purna Ahuti was performed as soon as Swami reached the make shift canopy which was erected for the function.
Swami beckoned Brother Genzo Makino to speak a few words about the upcoming Ashram. Swami then said that the vision of the Ashram will be to grow into a spiritual centre of all faiths and all beliefs. Swami said, “There may be many ornaments, but gold is one. There may be many kinds of cows, but milk is one. Similarly, many kinds of clothing exists, but thread is one. But man does not understand the oneness, and gets confused. But inner unity exists, inspite of the external differences, and that fundamental unity in all of creation is divinity! This Centre should be dedicated to the fundamental unity of all the diversity that exists. Therefore, this should be an inward path, not an outward path. When man goes inward he knows the truth, but when he goes outward he gets confused. This will become a universal home for love and peace. When milk boils, we sprinkle water on the milk to subdue it from overflowing. Likewise when man is restless, add divinity, then he will be in peace. Man is forgetting his divinity, which is the cause of all restlessness in the world. This divinity is fundamentally selfless love.
There is a SPIRITUAL aspect to this Centre, whose vision or goal is to establish this fundamental divinity and help people understand. There is a SOCIAL aspect as well, which should reflect in community service. The entire creation is meant for service. There is also an ACADEMIC and INTELLECTUAL aspect of this place, which is in undertaking the fundamental studies of Japanese and the world culture. Layer by layer when you go deeper, you will realise that all are based on the fundamental truth of one Creator and that all are divine. This place is meant for service and must reach to as many people irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Eventually it will grow into a Centre of repute and people from all over Japan and other countries will come to undertake studies!”
Thereafter, Swami proceeded outside the canopy to perform the Bhoomi Puja rituals. Nine bricks as part of the tradition were laid into the bosom of Mother Earth, seeking her permission to build the Ashram. Swami also walked around the 25 acre land, giving guidance on the construction.
Swami along with His entourage departed back to the Hotel, and went on to the Satsang Hall, where over a 100 devotees were blissfully lost in Bhajans. It was indeed a bonus Darshan for them, and the joy on their faces turned into tears of happiness and gratitude, as the Lord walked around blessing them, and even sat for a few Bhajans before Arati. Swami also commanded Brother Makino to address everyone and tell them about the Bhoomi Puja. Prasadam was distributed, and Swami then proceeded to His room, and granted a few interviews before His lunch.
In the evening over 500 people had gathered for the Public Satsang. As soon as Swami took His seat, a short cultural progrmme ‘SANCTUARY’ was presented, which showcased the ancient history of Japan through a live flute and synthesizer performance by Brother Okano and dance performances by several dancers. It consisted of three pieces that communicated this ancient story. During time immemorial, on the land where people were united with God through prayers, God descended down and danced together with people of the land and lived inside their heart. People were blessed with His grace, but as time passed this wisdom was lost. However, now this forgotten ancient wisdom is being revived in this land. The dances were a representation of awakening this ancient land, to open up the sacred door of Yahiko, and bring down God to this land once again. Swami blessed all the performers profusely, and then took His seat on stage.
He then called upon Brother Nimura, who was emotional and spoke about the upcoming Ashram. He reminisced his trip to Muddenahalli, and the interview he was blessed with, where Swami had made many revelations. Thereafter, Swami also called upon another gentleman from a nearby shrine to address the gathering. He was meeting Swami for the very first time, and his heart took over, and the rest is history as they say!
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy addressed the gathering next and said that melody, rhythm, beauty, energy and harmony, the five wonderful values which add beauty and joy to life are rooted in love. He reminisced what Swami had spoken that morning at the Bhoomi Puja. He said, “The purpose and the mission of Swami, especially in the last few years is to unite the whole of mankind into one family.”
Swami blessed all the devotees with His divine discourse. “Just as there is oil in the sesame seeds, just like there is butter in milk, just like there is fragrance in flowers, just like there is sweet juice in fruits, and just the way fire is inside wood, similarly divinity is present everywhere.
Though the divine is present in everything and everywhere, He cannot be seen, or touched, or tasted with the senses. Everything is born out of divinity, exists in divinity and merges in divinity, but some effort is required to understand this! You cannot see your own face and you need a mirror to see yourself. Likewise, in order to know your own divinity, first and foremost you need to be in the company of divine people. The first step in the search of your divinity, is to be in the company of noble people. It is only in good company that the Godhood in you comes out. Only through a process, the divinity inside you can be understood and experienced. This process is Sadhana or spiritual austerities. One may contemplate on the divine principle, or one may chant the divine name so much so that they become one with the divine name. Whether you meditate, chant or serve the Lord, these are various processes by which the divine principal inside can be experienced. This process becomes faster and easiest in the company of Divine people. The purpose of such Centres and Ashrams is to bring such people to together, so they can understand the divine principal.
The culture of Japan was very glorious where everyone sacrificed for the other. They had great respect for nature and all creatures. But with changing times, the selfishness grew and they forgot. This body is going to become earth one day, the name will be forgotten, but only the good that you do will stay. From this moment decide to lead a life of selflessness, and in this constant endeavor of being selfless, understand and experience your divinity. Alone, you cannot sustain your efforts, but together everyone can be benefitted.”
After a few Questions and Answers and Mangala Arati, the evening came to a close. Swami was served His dinner and He retired for the night.
It was during our recent trip to Kalady in Kerala, that Swami was being served His dinner at the residence of the devotee when a mother of a little four-year-old girl asked this question. “Swami, my daughter has a doubt which she asks me to clarify but I don’t know what to answer, so please guide. She asks me that when all of us have two hands then why Lord Vishnu and many other Gods have four hands?” While everyone smiled at this genuine doubt of a tiny tot who was taking her first steps towards God, no one really knew the answer and all looked towards Swami in eager anticipation. Swami the one who is a man amongst men, woman amidst women and a child when with children, answered it in His most inimitable way so that the little head could wrap itself around this profound query, “ You see, God has to do more work than humans. While He blesses with one hand, He protects with another, gives with yet another and holds you with the fourth one, so He needs four hands.” The little devotee was satisfied even as we all grinned at the simplicity of the profound truth, God had more work than humans!
Not sure about other Gods, but I have seen this God, the most diligent and the busiest of all, working day and night for others sake, and surely four hands are not enough, nor even five heads sufficient for a God who is always thinking of us and working for us every moment.
The final day of the divine visit was a rather emotional one for the devotees who were busy ensuring that each and every arrangement was made as per Bhagawan’s liking! He had hinted the previous night during dinner, that He would take His students and guests to the temple inside the Ashram which is known by the name ‘Adi Shankara Janmabhoomi Kshethram’. A special venue was arranged inside the temple for a Satsang with Bhagawan – probably a one-of-its-kind experience.
Swami arrived at the temple by 10.30 a.m. A long red carpet welcomed the Lord to the inside compound of the temple. Like bees going around the flower, the entire gamut of students, devotees, and guests were following Swami wherever He went inside the temple. There were few ‘lucky’ devotees of Bhagawan who were visiting the temple as tourists, not knowing that Bhagawan was in Kalady. They were overjoyed for being recipients of such an unexpected blessing! After walking around the temple, Bhagawan arrived at the Satsang venue inside the temple. As He sat on His throne, He asked the student singers to sing. In a moment the entire gathering started singing the most-celebrated Nirvana Shatakam (Atma Shatakam) composed by Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya. This was followed by a song close to Bhagawan’s heart – Bhaja Govindam. As the song came to a close, Bhagawan asked the students what they had learnt from this divine trip to Kalady. One of them said it is the vibrations of the place which helped them understand and digest spiritual philosophies better. Swami acknowledged the reply and added on saying Kalady is a very sacred and pure land. And then He remarked “Imagine if Kalady is this pure now, how much purer it would have been 1,000 to 2,000 years back!” Swami then spoke about the significance of Viveka Choodamani, one of the greatest works of Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Later, he summoned Sri Manjunath, Director of the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence, and instructed him to include the reading of Viveka Choodamani in the syllabus, so that students will be able to appreciate the Adwaitha Siddhantha as expounded by Sri Adi Shankara in a much better way. Bhagawan then distributed photos of Adi Shankara to everyone gathered.
After accepting Mangala Aarti, Swami agreed to pose for group photographs outside the temple Gopuram. Students, devotees, and guests got themselves photographed with Bhagawan Amidst tearful farewell, Bhagawan blessed everyone with Abhayahasta and departed from the hallowed birthplace of Sri Adi Shankara, ready to drive to Kochi Airport.
Soon after breakfast, Bhagawan sent His students for a private museum visit. Meanwhile, Swami visited a nearby Shirdi Baba temple constructed by a devotee. It has been the fruition of prayers of many such pure hearts that Bhagawan changed His plan to accompany the students to the museum, and instead chose to bless the devotees who were waiting for many years to receive their Lord in the hallowed temple premises!
Swami and His guests reached the Shirdi Baba temple before noon and were accorded a grand welcome at the entrance. On entering the temple, Bhagawan created Vibhuti for the Ganesha statue at the temple, and also materialised a statue of Shirdi Baba made of Silver for the devotee who built the temple! Bhagawan then proceeded to the public Satsang venue, and commanded Sri Rajan, the devotee who built the temple to address the gathering. Sri Rajan narrated how Swami guided them to build this temple and how at every phase, Bhagawan’s unseen hands were evident in the completion. His talk ended on an emotional note!
This was followed by Swami’s discourse wherein He mentioned the temple would now be rechristened as Dwarakamaayi, and that this temple’s glory will grow in abundance and there will be a huge flow of devotees into this temple over a period of time. Swami said His favourite work is installing God in people’s hearts. He then instructed that Narayana Seva should be conducted daily in the temple. And that it is not just humans, but also birds and animals should be served as a part of this Narayana Seva.
After Mangala Arati, Bhagawan and His entourage left for Kalady for lunch.
A boat trip with the Lord, His guests, His students, and His chosen devotees was arranged in the evening from Marine Drive at Kochi, and it was indeed a unique trip as the devotees had Bhagawan all for themselves for four long hours in the middle of breath-taking backwater close to Arabian Sea! ‘Santa Maris’ – the divine boat was all decked up to serve as a platform for private Satsang and have the Lord of the seven seas aboard! All the students, guests, and devotees were seated prior to Bhagawan’s arrival. With each passing moment, they could only count on their blessing to be a part of this unique divine cruise. Even as Bhagawan entered the boat which had 160 people on board, the entire entourage sang the song “Sai Karte Tera Swagatham”. After Bhagawan sat on His throne, He asked for more songs to be sung. Swami then enquired who the captain of the ship was, and pat came the reply from His students “Swami, You!”. How wise are these young boys to have realised that it is only God who controls the wheels of the ship of life, and He alone can take man across the ocean of Samsara!
Bhagawan called upon Brother Anirudh C, an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, who was waiting to perform a short English song for Swami. After the song, Swami asked him to narrate how his life was saved many times in the past by Swami. Just as he finished his short talk, Bhagawan narrated a particular instance when Swami saved Anirudh’s life! Swami then started conversing with His students and called on some of them to speak on how the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence was playing a pivotal role in accelerating Bhagawan’s mission of bringing about societal as well as personal transformation. One of them, Sonu Kumar has been instructed by Bhagawan to find a piece of land in his hometown of Bihar in India wherein Bhagawan can start a free school. Interestingly, Swami had asked Sonu if he wanted to live with Swami or live for Swami, to which he replied that he would rather live for Swami even if it means he has to sacrifice living with Swami! Such is the pure devotion and faith of Bhagawan’s students.
Swami praised the students of Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence, who were being prepared to take up bigger roles in serving in His divine mission, and He spoke at length about how selflessness will overpower the world soon from selfishness. Bhagawan then went onto praise His guests and devotees who takes His command seriously every time and ensures that all His projects happen on time.
Having commenced the cruise for almost two hours, Bhagawan was invited to top deck for refreshments along with others on board. Swami spent the next two hours talking to all of them about Lord Hanuman, Sri Adi Shankara, Lord Krishna, and His Fiji trip, etc. After a while, Swami asked the two boys to sing Ramakatha – one of His favourites! The Rama Katha was followed by a couple of other songs from the same singers, and then Swami asked if anyone else wished to sing. There were few elderly devotees who were eagerly waiting for an opportunity to sing for Bhagawan, and their joy knew no bounds when Swami allowed them to perform!A unique cruise with a unique passenger on board, in the Queen of Arabian Sea overlooking a beautiful sunset – this Satsang can be perfectly summarised in one word – MAGICAL! When the boat reached the coast again, no one wanted to leave their Swami, who then gave gifts to all students and guests, and then accepted Mangala Arati on board. He then proceeded to His residence in Kalady for dinner, and retired for the day at 9 p.m.
Devotees and students of Bhagawan started the day with most sacred Omkaram, Suprabhatam, and Nagara Sankeerthan around the Ashram premises. Bhagawan was served delicious breakfast during which He gave a glimpse of His omniscience when He narrated interesting incidents from the past occurred in the life of the hosting family, much to their joy and gratitude.
The Lord was ready to depart along with His students and guests all the way to the Ashram of Sri Sathyam, a realised soul who guides others on the path of spirituality through His Spiritual Awareness Institute (SAI) set up in a small village near Alwaye, a town in the Kochi district of Kerala. Sri Sathyam Swamiji is being constantly guided by Bhagawan, and incidentally Bhagawan had appeared to Sri Sathyam Swamiji in a dream and passed on Brother Madhusudan’s phone number, asking Sri Sathyam Swamiji to call him! Swamiji then contacted Brother Madhusudan and visited Muddenahalli to invite Swami to his Ashram, which the Lord mercifully accepted. Swami was received with much grandeur at the Ashram entrance by Sri Sathyam Swamiji, who garlanded Brother Madhusudan with a garland made of Thulasi leaves. Swami inaugurated a Devi (Bhagawathi) Temple in the Ashram after-which He proceeded to His private room amidst soulful Bhajans. After a short refreshing break, Bhagawan proceeded to the public Satsang venue where over 500 devotees had gathered to soak in the divine bliss.
The proceedings of the day was initiated with Vedic invocation. Bhagawan then commanded the father of Sri Sathyam Swamiji, Sri Bodhaswaroopananda Swamiji to address the gathering, who spoke on the genesis of the Ashram at Alwaye, and how their prayers were answered through Bhagawan’s divine visit.
Sri Sathyam Swamiji then narrated how Bhagawan commanded him to welcome Swami with a Thulasi garland in a dream. When he said that garlanding Brother Madhusudan may seem strange, Swami assured him that Brother Madhusudan and Swami are just one and the same! Sri B N Narasimha Murthy then shared his thoughts on Swami’s ongoing mission. It was followed by Bhagawan’s discourse on the significance of this Ashram in His mission, and the Lord said He was waiting to come to this Ashram for the past 11 years! Bhagawan also remarked that Sri Sathyam Swamiji is His son and that the glory of this Ashram would grow multi-fold in the years to come. Thousands of devotees would throng to this place just to find inner peace and attain enlightenment. Swami also revealed that this Ashram would serve as a spiritual hub for the region. Swami ended His discourse assuring that He is always present in the Ashram, and that He would provide all that is needed for the Ashram.
After the thundering discourse, Bhagawan asked Sri Sathyam Swamiji how old he was. When he replied stating his current age, Bhagawan remarked that Sri Sathyam Swamiji has always been in and around this Ashram for over 400 years in one form or the other, and that he has been helping people on the path of spirituality!
Swami then proceeded to the nearby makeshift temple to perform the most-awaited Prana Prathista of Sri Adi Shankara Lingam amidst Rudram chanting. Thereafter, He called the trustees of Bhuvaneshwari Trust for a private audience, and then partook His lunch which was served with much love and devotion. After blessing the family of Sri Sathyam Swamiji, Bhagawan accepted Mangala Arati and proceeded to His residence, and meanwhile, sumptuous lunch was arranged as Prasadam for all the devotees.
A special cultural programme was presented to Bhagawan in the evening in a big hall inside the Ashram. Swami commanded guest singers to perform first, and this was followed by His dearest students from the music group in Muddenahalli. Classical dance performances by devotees and children were also performed at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. At the end of the session, Bhagawan made the evening extra special for the hundreds of Sevadals by handing over small tokens of His love to all of them. Interestingly, most of the Sevadals were moved beyond their imagination when Bhagawan replied to all their queries in chaste Malayalam!
After blessing Prasadam and accepting Mangala Arati, Bhagawan left for His residence for His dinner. It was during this dining session that Swami revealed that soon Prema Sai would be coming to Kalady as well, and He informed the host about finding a land for Bhagawan’s Ashram in Kerala! After partaking His dinner, Swami retired for the day.
The day had arrived! Devotees of Kerala were excited to welcome their Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to Kerala after a long wait of over 40 years. Swami and His entourage which included guests and all the students of the Sri Sathya Sathya Centre for Human Excellence, set off to the city popularly known as the Queen of Arabian Sea, by taking an early morning flight from Bangalore. Having landed at Kochi Airport at 9:30 a.m, Bhagawan was driven to the residence of Sri K S Radhakrishna Panickkar and Smt Kanakambika.
Their daughter, Smt Santhy, and son-in-law Sri Sunil, ardent devotees of Bhagawan, have been active in Annapoorna breakfast programme. Swami stopped at the residence for refreshments, and then proceeded to the Rudra Homam venue at the Adi Shankara Janmabhoomi Kshethram, which is being managed by the Sringeri Sharada Peetham.
The venue for the Rudra Homam was all set to receive Lord Rudra Himself, and Bhagawan arrived amidst a grand reception at the entrance of the road leading to the Yagashala. With Poorna Kumbham, Pookkavadi, Nadaswaram, Panchavadyam, Thalapoli and elephants leading Bhagawan to the venue, the rich cultural heritage of God’s Own Country was displayed at its best. Tears of joy erupted when Bhagawan entered the Yagashala, and sat through the entire Poornahuti function which lasted for almost two hours. With the divine vibrations soaring high, Swami initiated the Poornahuti, and blessed all the sacrificial items. It was a sight for God’s and Goddesses to witness with Lord Rudra Himself overseeing the Rudra Homam. Having energised the effulgent Adi Shankara Lingam, Swami called upon the hosting family, Sri K S Radhakrishna Panickkar, blessed him profusely and instructed him to perform the Rudra Homam every year. Swami then walked amongst devotees, students and guests to sprinkle holy water. Much to the surprise of everyone assembled, Bhagawan then materialised from the bowl of holy water, a Jala Lingam and gifted the Lingam to the devotee who was coordinating the Homam preparations.
As a part of the tradition, the Poornahuti is complete only with an offering of dance and music at the feet of Sri Rudra. A young girl was blessed by Bhagawan to dance to a powerful song hailing the glory of Lord Shiva – Bho Shambho Shiva Shambho Swayambho, followed by a song which propounds the oneness of mankind. Swami then proceeded to the residence of the host for lunch. Meanwhile, a grand and sumptuous Kerala feast was arranged for all the devotees as Maha Prasadam of the auspicious Homam. Bhagawan retired for the afternoon after partaking His lunch.
The evening was a historic occasion, for a unique spiritual gathering was organised at the banks of River Poorna at a spot called Muthalakadavu (which literally translates to bank of the crocodile). It was here that the famous incident from Sri Adi Shankara’s life occurred wherein he was caught by a crocodile while performing the morning ablutions. On hearing her son screaming for help, mother Aryamba rushed to the spot and then allowed Sri Adi Shankara to take up Sanyasa, as a result of which the crocodile let go off Sri Adi Shankara’s feet. It was to pay respects to that great master that Bhagawan had chosen this venue for the public Satsang. Swami arrived at Muthalakadavu which was all decked to host the Lord of the Universe. After the welcome address by Sai Youth of Kerala, the proceedings for the evening was initiated through the ceremonial lighting of the lamp and Vedic invocation.
Two young speakers were blessed by Bhagawan to address the gathering. The first speaker for the day was Ms Nithya Ramakrishnan, an alumna of Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions, who narrated how Swami answered her prayers every time she was on cross roads of life. She described how her inner connect with Swami helped her develop a unique intimacy with Bhagawan. The second speaker for the evening was Dr Deekshith Shashidharan, a resident doctor at Waynad Institute of Medical Sciences, who has been an ardent devotee of Bhagawan since childhood. He narrated how Bhagawan saved his life twice, and he thanked Swami profusely. Dr Deekshith ended his speech with a special prayer to Bhagawan to launch an audio CD of a series of talks delivered on Bhaja Govindam by (late) Prof Narayanankutty, an ardent devotee of Bhagawan and a great exponent of spiritual literature. Swami graciously accepted his prayers by launching the CD on the dias. A video presentation was then made on Swami’s ongoing mission with respect to education, healthcare, and Annapoorna breakfast seva which has now expanded to over 10 districts of Kerala.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy addressed the gathering next, on Bhagawan’s love for His devotees in Kerala. He spoke about Bhagawan’s Mahima in the current subtle form and remarked “If people think it is Narasimha Murthy who is travelling around and building institutions, they will be fools. Even if I think I am doing all these, I will be the greatest fool. It is Bhagawan and Bhagawan alone who is doing all these.”
The much-awaited Divine discourse followed where Bhagawan revealed how Adi Shankara had to travel from Poorna to Narmada to Ganga in pursuit of self-realisation. But here was ‘Anadhi Shankara’ who travelled all the way from Ganges to river Poorna just to grant His devotees what they have come to seek! Swami then praised the love of His devotees in Kerala. Bhagawan declared that this visit is just the beginning and that Kerala will witness much more such visits in the future. Even as Bhagawan was bringing His divine message to a close, the night sky sent down a shower of cool rain as if to celebrate the home-coming of their Lord. After Mangala Arati, Bhagawan blessed the Prasadam to be distributed, and thereafter proceeded to the residence of the host for dinner and retired for the day!
On February 26 2018, it was the closing ceremony of the ‘Half Yearly Meet’ of the ‘Children For Sathya Sai’ Alumni group that had gathered at the Lotus Feet of its mentor, guide, driving force, and literally everything. It felt like the children returned home and recounted everything to their mother—their achievements, their setbacks, their problems, their accolades. The Mother listened to them and counselled them, encouraged them and patted their backs so that they could go back in the world and work with more zeal and enthusiasm.
Swami entered the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Hall escorted by the Vedam group. He blessed the devotees as the Bhajans were going on, accepting their letters, listening to their prayers, and guiding them. After a full round of the Hall, Swami came back to the stage and signaled for the start of the proceedings. Sri T B Jayachandra, Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Karnataka, was also present on the stage.
The program started with the Vedic invocation by the Alumni Vedam group who chanted the Durga Suktam.
It was made known to everybody that the Minister had come with good tidings – the Bill for Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in Gulbarga was passed in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
There was a summary of the previous day’s events presented by Sister Vidya Ramsubramaniam, an alumnus of Anantpur Campus, and Brother Sidddharth Sai Amrit, a young alumnus of Muddenhalli Campus. Through talks, group working sessions, and various other activities on the first day of the Meet, a pledge was drafted and finalized to dedicate oneself for Swami’s work. Brother Venu Madhav read out the pledge as every student recited it alongside. It is worth mentioning here that this was the first such Meet where the alumni and the passing out students were present and worked together to bring about a continued environment of connectedness and togetherness among all the students.
Next was the report of the activities by the Alumni and Alumnae presented by Dr. Suresh Kodapala, who himself is an alumnus of the Alike campus. He talked about the various initiatives and works undertaken by E1E1 Trust to ensure the connection between the Alumni and Swami’s mission. Various campus visits and programs were hosted to touch the students who didn’t know about Swami’s mission through the Subtle Body. It was also mentioned that to support the activities of the Trust, Swami had blessed the Alumni and Alumnae with a special accommodation in Muddenahalli.
As the founding father Late Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat offered Loka Seva Vrinda at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet, his outpouring took the form of a beautiful poem ‘Hridayada Hambala’ (Yearning of the Heart) with the motto ‘Atmano Mokshartham Jagat Hitaya Cha’. (For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the World). Students from Sri Sathya Sai Center for Human Excellence have sung this prayer on the occasion of the ‘Half Yearly Meet’ of Children for Sathya Sai.
This was proceeded by a Talk by Brother G V Praveen who spoke about how twenty years ago he prayed to Swami to keep him close and how Swami has fulfilled his wish now.
To continue the activities and tasks undertaken by the Alumni association, coordinators from various campuses and batches were selected and Swami blessed them all with badges infusing them with a spirit of dedication and selflessness.
Then the Minister, Sri T B Jayachandra addressed the gathering. He told how Swami guided him to get the bill passed for the university. He mentioned that it was the last day of the session of the Karnataka Assembly but due to Swami’s grace, the bill got passed. He said that he feels privileged and proud to be a part of the Sai Family. He went on to say that throughout his political career he has seen many institutes of excellence in Commerce, Science, Engineering, but an institute in Human Excellence is something that only Swami can envision and establish. He also said that he will try working out the plan of replicating the Alumni association in all the schools in the state.
The next speaker was Sri B N Narasimha Murthy. He mentioned how there was no opposition in the parliament for the bill regarding the university. He expressed his thanks to the minister who worked hard to get the bill passed. He also thanked the Minister of Higher Education Sri Vasu Raj Reddy who helped the bill get passed. Relating his own story of how Swami brought him into His fold, Sri Narasimha Murthy mentioned that it is through complete selflessness that man can achieve divinity, which is the definition of human excellence giver by Swami.
Then, Swami blessed everybody with His Divine Discourse. He spoke about the need of being good first before aspiring to be great for all the students. He said that devotion to God is the biggest education the students are getting in His institutions—everything else comes naturally.
He also praised the Minister who worked hard to get the bill passed though he was troubled by various personal hardships and difficulties. On Swami’s insistence, the Minister came personally to declare the good news to all the students. Swami promised that He will bring water to all the districts of the state that are going through shortage and bearing a lot of trouble, fulfilling the wishes of the Minister who was working for many years to achieve this end.
He then dilated on the purpose of the University which is to produce people who are suffused with love.
Swami mentioned about the student who handed a letter from the class of 7th grade during Darshans—the students had contributed some amount to the Madiyala Narayan Bhat scholarship programme by saving money from their own pocket-money. He said that it is not the money that matters but the purity, selflessness, and sacrifice with which these students are contributing is valuable. He called out the student on stage and blessed him. Swami concluded His discourse with blessings to all.
This was followed by the Mangala Arati and Prasadam distribution and the programme came to a close.
The Half Yearly Alumni Meet was convened on the February 24 and 25, 2018 on Swami’s Divine command. This was the first of it’s kind, held six months after the Annual Alumni Meet held in October, 2017.
The morning session of the first day of the Half Yearly Meet, 2018 was held in Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Auditorium.The programme commenced with an introductory talk by Brother Praveen, the global Alumna Coordinator. He gave an insightful talk that centred on the origin of the Children for Sathya Sai, the importance of staying connected with each other as a community and also encouraged the outgoing students, the recent pass outs, in sharing their bit, to shoulder the responsibility, in being a part in Swami’s grand education mission. He also stressed on the necessity of having their fingerprints nailed on the Each One Educate One initiative which is about educating one brother / sister studying in any of Swami’s Institutions.
The next speaker was Sister Achintya whose talk centred on nourishing the growth of that special inner connect with Swami which is very necessary for life as Sai Students. Her talk highlighted a couple of her personal experiences with Swami that strengthened her faith and love for Swami.
The third speaker for the morning session was Brother Rajat, an alumna from the Sri Sathya Sai Sharadhaniketanam, Mandya Campus. Having passed out recently and having been a direct recipient of Swami’s Love, attention and Grace in this Subtle Form, he spoke with a lot of conviction on identification of his role in Swami’s Mission. He threw light on the fact as to how the little hearts from many of Swami’s campuses started saving money by cutting down on their expenditure for their little desires like ice-cream, chocolates, etc thus putting a Ceiling on desires for a noble cause. He asked the audience to draw inspiration from these enterprising and sincere young buds.
The last session was taken over by Brother Madhusudhan Naidu on the topic “Be the Change”. He began his talk by narrating an incident that dated back to his college days and how Swami Himself drove home the message to him that it was important to see each other as brother and sister. He thanked Swami for choosing him, allowing him to be a part of His grand and great mission. He insisted that entertaining the feeling of brotherhood is a key ingredient to sacrifice and that the spontaneity of sacrifice is a noble thought.
He quoted his own example of how Swami slowly and relentlessly made him experience different hardships during the construction of the Gulbarga campus and thereby derive many lessons. “You will not know the sacrifice of a father till you become a father”. Brother Madusudhan said that the experience had brought in him the understanding of the magnitude and seriousness of Swami’s Mission, the extent of effort that Swami invested in building these educational Institutions for bringing about transformation of the heart, right from a young age.
Swami always lives His life for our sake, he said. He told the students “You are special, because you are a student of Swami”. He reminded the audience of how Swami had clearly stated that, “While devotees from different parts of the globe support the huge infrastructure of Swami’s campuses, facilitating the manpower, sponsoring the education of the children studying in these Institutions and thereby carrying His Mission forward is the bounden duty of Swami’s students as a way of paying back to the society what they had received.”
Consistent efforts on staying focused on our goal, being in the right company, being a change in oneself is what would help us create a distinguished identity for ourselves as lion cubs and not be mere sheep, since we certainly not just one of the many, but that we are different, he said. He underlined the importance of “Be together- stay together- serve together”. He concluded his soul- stirring talk with a deep message by listing out the 5 C’s that are of primary importance in our lives:
- Critical thinking and undoubtedly,
Then the students were given an OMR sheet with an elaborate questionnaire attached with a feedback form, both to be filled after reflecting on the content of the questionnaire.
The post lunch sessions were arranged separately for the outgoing and the recent pass outs and Senior active alumni. While the former was organised in Premamrutham and was handled by the recent pass outs, the latter was held in the Vidya Deep.
The session at Premamrutham had few of the recent pass outs who shared their experiences briefly on how they withstood the test of living in the outside world and still following what Swami wanted. The speakers consisted of recently passed out alumna and alumnae from all Swami’s campuses.
In the evening, was the most awaited GRATITUDE PROGRAMME. Swami arrived at Premamrutham and the programme included rendition of different songs that reflected the students gratitude to Swami for His matchless Love and Care. The programme also had a few short speeches by students from all of Swami’s campuses. Swami was overwhelmed with joy and He also took snapshots with each of the outgoing batches in all His Educational Institutions. Truly, it was a very emotionally touching and poignant evening for each of the students seated there. Swami also blessed all of them and He gave them tokens of His Love.
In parallel, the Senior Alumni focussed their evening on elaborate discussion about the Each One Educate One programme. It began with an introductory talk of the whole concept of how the programme evolved and what was in it for each of them who were there. The interactive sessions were driven forward by sharing of individual experiences and also bringing to light the challenges faced in taking the ‘each one educate one conversations ‘ forward.
The necessity for multiple follow-ups, indulging in multiple conversations, involving more hands in the joint efforts towards achievement of the set targets were discussed.
Enhancement of base numbers through investment of quality time in having regular, well-planned Satsangs, equipping with an armamentarium of newsletters, updates from websites, a thorough knowledge on the vastness of the Mission with the basic interpretation of the whole initiative were few more aspects touched upon. The inner significance of this motive in developing selfless love, focussing more on team work and journeying together on our individual transformation on the spiritual path were recognised as outcome of the meeting.
The 2018-2019 charter was also shown to the audience with a clarity on the different zones of the Central Council for each one educate one, this was to facilitate the individual identification with a one furthering their participation thereon.
The fact that Each One Educate One was not only about monetary contribution and that it was an important aspect of the transition from I TO WE TO HE was the key take away. In continuation of the same theme, a drama was staged by the Alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Institutions. The grand finale of the drama was a song written and composed by alumni called “Pyaar Hain”. Swami was very happy and He blessed all the participants of the drama.
After the Mangala Arati, Bhagawan returned to His Abode. This brought the day one’s programme to a close.
It is from the soil of this land (Kerala) that resounded the greatest truth of all times: Sivoham Sivoham Chidananda rupa Sivoham Sivoham. If (Adi Sankara) was born near this River Purna, he attained the wisdom near Narmada and finally attained his true self at the Ganges. This way he fulfilled all the three blessings that were given to him of being born as a human, having desire to know the truth and attaining the company of a noble one. And this is possible for every human who is born on this earth. Even if you develop a desire to know the truth, the company or the blessings of a wise one or the noble one is extremely important.
Truly, you are more blessed than Adi Sankara also. Not just because you are born here in this land as human beings, not also because you have got the desire for liberation but more importantly you have Anadi Sankara Himself teaching you the truth. And this is your greatest responsibility to live up to this great good fortune which has come your way. Unless we put efforts to gain from it, to practise it and benefit from it, all these opportunities will simply go waste. It is the same place, the same river where he cried out to his mother, “Unless you grant me renunciation, I will not be redeemed.” This burning desire to know the truth, know God, know Atman made that little boy so strong that at such a tender age, he walked all the way to gain wisdom. Therefore, ‘Kalady’ also means footsteps. Therefore, these are the footprints of Sankaracharya which you also must follow. Prema and Tyaga are the two footprints that you must follow in order to truly attain the wisdom that Sankaracharya attained.
A devotee’s heart knows the love. And this love is alone the proof of one’s own understanding of God’s presence. Did Prahlada ever see Vishnu as half man, half lion? Then how did he recognise Him as his Lord? Did Bali Chakravarthy See Vishnu as a little dwarf or the Trivikrama? Never! But when the whole world, the father of Prahlada, failed to recognise God, when the very guru of Bali Chakrvarathy failed to recognise God, it is Prahlada and Bali Chakravarthy because of their purity of devotion, they recognised the Lord in whichever form He came. In your heart of hearts, it is only through love, that you can understand God, that you can experience God. It is the heart, it is the heart that experiences and enjoys the Divine; all other senses are useless, of no avail in this matter. With that surrender of Bali Chakravarthy, with that devotion of Prahlada, with that wisdom of Adi Sankara, you must work with your head, heart and hand.
Truly the one who feels that everyone belongs to him is a divine person. Because of such few good people, the world is still in the shape that it is in, else it would have broken into pieces. The selfishness of man, the greed and ambition has scaled newer heights with every passing century and today we stand at the verge of a great disaster when a little anger or selfishness of one nation can destroy the whole earth and make it into pieces by use of such destructive weapons.
The hope in this world which is full of this darkness of selfishness is our system of education, the ancient system of education of India which has always produced men and women of sacrifice. A system of education that is based on the very fundamental truth of oneness of whole creation. This truth of oneness of belonging to one single family of humanity is what is being taught in all our educational institutions and soon in the university that is to come up. Therefore, whomever you help, truly you are helping your own self because it is your own people and whomever you harm, you are harming your own self because they are also your own people. This kind of understanding, unless it develops in the minds of young men and women, there is no solution to the problems of the world that exist today.
The name of the university has been chosen with great thought, with great understanding. It is Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence. A true human is that person who is reflection of Divinity, who carries this divine principle of oneness, of Divinity, of purity, of love and compassion in his heart and expresses it through his hands. And what is ‘excellence’ then? Excellence is when the heart guides the head and head guides the hand; then you have truly achieved excellence. When heart is the one which decides, which guides the head and the hands and when one learns to live in accordance with the dictates of one’s own heart, then that person can be an excellent human. Truly the purpose of the university is to produce men and women with compassion, with kindness, service-mindedness and sacrifice. In our university, a human being should join and come out as Divine. Our purpose is to transform a human into Divine. Then education in these institutions are to be considered as fruitful and complete. Amidst so many universities that already exist, this is going to be a unique special one because the purpose of the university is not just to provide graduate, post graduate or research degrees but to really transform a human into a divine person.